Augusta Men, Kennesaw Women Also Win:
Georgia Tech and Augusta captured their conference championships to earn automatic berths into the NCAA Regionals in May.
Six Regionals will be played May 14-16, with two of them in the Southeast hosted by North Carolina State and Central Florida.
Georgia Tech won its ninth ACC Championship over the last 13 years at the Old North State Club in New London, N.C, where the Yellow Jackets have won 11 conference titles in 17 attempts. It was Tech’s 17th overall ACC Championship. The fourth-ranked Yellow Jackets are likely to be one of the six teams seeded first in its Regional after winning four times during the 2017-18 season.
The Yellow Jackets narrowly defeated several teams for the conference title, finishing at 29-under 835 to edge out Clemson by two strokes, Wake Forest by three and Virginia by five. Tech led after each round, taking a 3-shot lead after opening with a 12-under 276 and expanding its advantage to six after a 277 the next day. The Yellow Jackets shot 282 the final day to hold off its three primary challengers, who shot between 274 and 278 in the final round.
It was a team effort for Georgia Tech, with a different player posting the team’s low score each day and the Yellow Jackets recording six scores in the 60s by four team members. No Tech player placed in the top 10, with sophomores Luke Schniederjans of Powder Springs and Tyler Strafaci tying for 12th at 8-under 208. Senior Chris Petefish was T17 at 209, with sophomore Andy Ogletree T24 at 213.
Schniederjans helped Tech grab the early lead, matching the low score of the tournament with a 65. Petefish opened with a 69, Strafaci shot 70 and Ogletree opened with a 72. Petefish and Ogletree both shot 68 the next day to lead the Yellow Jackets, with Strafaci carding a 70 and freshman Noah Norton a 71.
Strafaci led Tech in the final round with a 68, followed by Schniederjans at 69 and Petefish at 72. Ogletree and Norton both shot 73. Petefish birdied the final hole to clinch the victory, with the Yellow Jackets just one shot ahead at the time.
Augusta won the MEAC title in much easier fashion at Crosswinds in Savannah, finishing 33 shots ahead of the second place team after being tied following the first round at 4-over 292 with Florida A&M. The Jaguars shot 288 the next day to take a 23-shot lead over Bethune-Cookman, and expanded their final margin to 33 after a tournament best 291 the final day.
The Jaguars’ top four players finished first, second and tied for third individually, with freshman Alex Shead of Appling earning medalist honors at 7-under 209 with scores of 73-67-69. Broc Everett was second at 215, with Laken Hinton and Gustav Andersson tying for third at 219.
At 113 in the latest Golfstat rankings, the sixth lowest of the seven D-1 teams from Georgia , the Jaguars will be one of lowest seeds in the tournament.
Georgia Southern tied for second in the Sun Belt Championship at the Raven in Sandestin, Fla., to qualify for match play. The top four teams advanced to match play, with the Eagles defeating Texas-Arlington 302 before losing to No. 1 seed Coastal Carolina 4-1 in the championship match.
Junior Steven Fisk of Stockbridge rebounded from a poor second round to shoot 6-under 65 the final day to lead the Eagles to a score of 285 and an 871 total. The team posted scores of 298 and 288 the first two days and finished 26 shots behind Coastal Carolina.
Senior Jake Storey led the Eagles, tying for third at 212 with scores of 71-70-71. Fisk tied for ninth at 215 and Archer Price, the team’s only other senior, shot 69-73 the last two days to place 25th at 221.
Fisk and Price won 5&4 in the semifinals, with Storey taking a 3&2 victory. Price was the lone Eagle to win in the finals, scoring a 1-up victory. Fisk lost 2&1 in the only other match to go past the 15th hole. Sophomore Luukas Alakulppi of Valdosta and Freshman Jacob Bayer of Lawrenceville both contributed two counting scores each in stroke play, and both went 0-2 in match play.
Georgia State finished 10th in the 12-team field at 886, closing with 286 in the third round. Steven Soller led the Panthers, tying for 14th at 216. Senior Max Herrmann closed with scores of 71-69 to tie for 26th at 222. Nick Budd, a junior from Woodstock, contributed an opening round 73 and Gainesville junior Nathan Williams shot 73 in the second round.
Kennesaw State finished fourth in the rain-shortened Atlantic Sun Championship at the Legends at Chateau Elan, ending up 24 shots behind North Florida. The Owls shot 296-292 for a 20-over 588 total, with the Legends playing as a par 70 the final round with the par-5 10th shortened to a par 3.
Sophomore Connor Coffee of Peachtree City was low for the Owls, placing 10th with scores of 72-73—145. Pablo Rodriguez-Tabernero was 13th at 147 after a second round 68. Tying for 19th at 150 was junior Wyatt Larkin of Morganton and freshman Brady Keran of Canton, with junior Jake Fendt of Cumming T25 at 152.
The Owls, ranked 54th by Golfstat, are hoping for an at-large invitation to Regionals.
Mercer placed fifth in the Southern Conference Championship in Pinehurst, N.C., posting a 905 total to finish 23 shots behind UNC-Greensboro. Stanton Schorr, a junior from Columbus, tied for second for the Bears after a final round 67 gave him a 216 total. Freshman Lino Galdin tied for 11th at 223.
Georgia closed out a disappointing season by finishing 11th out of 14 teams in the SEC Championship at Sea Island GC, failing to make it to the 8-team match play portion of the tournament. The Bulldogs are 50th in the Golfstat rankings and can still get an at-large bid to Regionals.
The Bulldogs managed just two scores below 74 in each of the three rounds, as they finished at 22-over 862, nine strokes behind two teams that tied for seventh.
Freshman Davis Thompson of St. Simons and junior Jack Larkin of Atlanta posted scores of 71 and 72 the first day, but Larkin shot 74 and 76 the next two days with both scores counting, while Thompson struggled the final two rounds. Georgia was 11th after opening with a 291.
Sophomore Trevor Phillips bounced back from a non-counting 76 the first day with a 65, as Georgia shot 282 to close within two strokes of eighth place. Trevor Ralston, a sophomore from Gainesville, added a 69.
Phillips shot 69 and Ralston matched par with a 70 the final day, but the Bulldogs also had to count Larkin’s 76 and the third straight 74 for senior Zach Healy of Peachtree Corners., as the Bulldogs closed with a score of 289.
Despite his opening 76, Phillips tied for 10th individually at 210 with Ralston T24 at 213. Their three teammates finished outside the top-50 in the 70-player field.
In women’s conference tournaments, Georgia reached the semifinals of the SEC Championship at Greystone in Birmingham after placing fourth in stroke play.
Jillian Hollis tied for fourth at 216 for Georgia, closing with scores of 70 and 71. Roswell’s Rinko Mitsunaga tied for 15th at 221. Georgia finished with a team total of 895, 28 shots behind South Carolina. The Bulldogs shot the low score of the second round, with their 290 easily the team’s best of the tournament.
In the quarterfinals of match play, Georgia defeated Auburn 3-2. Hollis won 6&5 over Kayley Marschke, one of two Auburn golfers from Suwanee. Georgia’s Paula Neira Garcia defeated Suwanee’s Michaela Owen 3&1, with Mitsunaga taking her match 2&1.
Georgia faced top seed South Carolina in the semifinals, losing 3-2. Hollis and Garcia both won by scores of 3&2, but Mitsunaga dropped a 3&1 decision. Isabella Skinner of Cumming, the team’s lone senior, lost her match 3&2, with Gaby Coello losing 1-up in what proved to be the decisive match.
The Bulldogs were 34th in the most recent Golfstat rankings, and are the No. 9 seed in the Tallahassee Regional May 7-9.
Kennesaw State earned an automatic bid to Regionals by winning the rain-shortened Atlantic Sun Championship at the Legends at Chateau Elan. The second round was washed out and par for the final round was reduced from 73 to 71 as the par-5 10th played as a par 3.
The Owls shot 288 the final day to finish at 601, nine shots ahead of North Florida. Kennesaw trailed by six after a 313 the first day.
Junior Madison Caldwell of Dawsonville earned medalist honors for the Owls with scores of 76-69—145. Teammate Charlotte Charrayre tied for second at 147 and Clara Ashley tied for fifth at 151.
Kennesaw, ranked 45th by GolfStat, was also placed in the Tallahassee Regional as the 12th seed.
Mercer tied for second in the Southern Conference Championship at Moss Creek on Hilton Head Island, a distant 34 shots behind Furman’s winning score. The Bears finished with a 931 total, led by Alpharetta junior Payton Schanen, who shot a pair of 73s and tied for third at 227. Hannah Mae Deems, a senior from Taylorsville, tied for ninth at 233 along with Teresa Romeo.
Georgia Southern placed third in the Sun Belt Championship, played at Sandestin Resort’s Raven course. The Eagles shot 914, 42 behind Coastal Carolina’s winning total.
Southern’s Ansley Bowman shot a final round 69 to place third individually at 222. Julianna Collett, a sophomore from St. Simons , shared the first round lead at 71 and wound up tied for 20th at 230.
Georgia State was fifth in the 11-team field at 921. Paula Zabarte led the Panthers, placing fourth at 223. Chloe Howard tied for fifth at 224 and Harmanprit Kaur, a sophomore from Lawrenceville, tied for 24th at 231.
Augusta, which is not in a conference, was ranked No. 72 by Golfstat and did not receive an at-large bid.